Once the railroad cranes and slag pot carriers leave Kirow’s production facility in Leipzig, Germany, they often have to endure at least 20 years of service in the most demanding conditions. Outdoor temperatures between −20 and +40 °C, hot slag material at temperatures of up to 1,200 °C, severe shocks and increased electrical voltages are just some of the demands placed on the technology and electronics. WAGO’s spring pressure connection technology and I/O controllers have also had to prove they can handle such environments.
Kirow is the world market leader for railway cranes, and its heavy-duty model, the Multi Tasker, can be found in the depots of many railway companies. It is used wherever damaged vehicles will be recovered from the rail network and loads of up to 200 t have to be moved. The Tracklayer, a specialty lifting and transportation machine that accompanies the Multi Tasker, is used for laying very long and heavy track and replacing switch points. Due to the severe wear that results from use with high-speed trains, switches have to be replaced regularly. The individual parts of a rail’s switch point used to be transported to the site, where they were assembled and fitted to the tracks. The heavy switch segments, which weigh up to 18 t, are now supplied by the manufacturer as completely pre-assembled components and then brought to the replacement site. As the switches are too bulky for normal rail transport, since they can be up to 4.4 m wide, they are loaded onto Kirow’s special switch transport cars, tilted 60 degrees, fastened securely and then transported to the site – often over long distances.